|Fordham Accused of Harboring Molestors
By Nicholas Thibideau
November 7, 2008
Two groups have accused Fordham University of harboring priests who were accused of sexual abuse.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and BishopAccountability.org provided the New York Times with documents detailing a settlement between the school and the Rev. Eugene O'Brien, a former principal of Fordham Prep, according to an article published on Oct. 21. In addition, Richard Cerick, a 53-year-old lawyer, claims he was raped by the Rev. Roy A. Drake in 1968. Drake lived in Murray-Weigel Hall until 2006, when he was transferred to a treatment center for troubled priests. Drake passed away at the center.
In the Times article, Cerick said he did not file a complaint with the school until he learned about Drake's whereabouts in 2005.
"They allowed Father Drake, who lived and worked for decades on Fordham's campus after abusing me, to continue working and residing there," Cerick said in the article. "This is incomprehensible. The innocent deserve protection."
O'Brien served as principal and president of Fordham Prep from 1960 to 1979, during which time an unnamed student claimed he was molested, according to the Times. That case was settled in 1997 for $25,000 by the Archdiocese of New York, the Society of Jesus and Fordham University.
A spokesman for the archdiocese said he was familiar with the claim brought by Cerick but could not comment on the terms of the 1997 settlement. A spokesman for the Jesuit order of New York also declined to comment.
The Fordham University administration had not released an offical statement by presstime.
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